Zuck’s U-Turn: Instagram Walks Back TikTok Copycat Features After Criticism

Mark Zuckerberg discusses Instagram
AFP/Getty

Following fierce criticism of changes to Instagram designed to copy Chinese-owned TikTok, platform head Adam Mosseri has announced plans to walk back the updates. Mark Zuckerberg may be obsessed with his future “Metaverse,” but his short-term goal is to recapture the youth market by crushing TikTok and Snapchat.

The Verge reports that Instagram plans to walk back some recent changes to its platform following a week of continued criticism. A test version of the app that opened to full-screen photos and videos — similar to the Chinese-owned app TikTok — will be phased out over the next one to two weeks and Instagram will also be reducing the number of recommended posts in the app as it improves its algorithms.

Shouzi Chew, chief executive officer of TikTok Inc. Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg

Instagram head Adam Mosseri

Instagram head Adam Mosseri (Steve Jennings/Getty)

Breitbart News recently reported that Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian criticized Instagram for attempting to mimic TikTok.

Breitbart News reported:

Jenner, who has 361 million followers on Instagram, and Kardashian, who has 326 million followers on the platform, shared an Instagram Story Monday, which read, “Make Instagram Instagram Again.”

“Stop trying to be TikTok I just want to see cute photos of my friends. Sincerely, everyone,” the post added.

The celebrity sisters are known for being able to influence their impressionable young audiences. In 2018, Jenner criticized the redesign of Snapchat, causing shares of parent company Snap to drop seven percent.

While Jenner and Kardashian urge Instagram to stop copying the Chinese app, others might argue to the contrary in the hopes that U.S. social media platforms (despite their many problems and censorship) might be able to implement features that would help curtail users on TikTok, which is viewed by many as a Chinese-owned data collection tool, thinly-veiled as a social media platform.

In a recent interview, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri stated: “I’m glad we took a risk — if we’re not failing every once in a while, we’re not thinking big enough or bold enough. But we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup. [When] we’ve learned a lot, then we come back with some sort of new idea or iteration. So we’re going to work through that.”

The changes come as users grow frustrated over the changes to the app designed to help it better compete with TikTok. Mosseri noted that many of these changes have not been popular among users, stating: “For the new feed designs, people are frustrated and the usage data isn’t great. So I think that we need to take a big step back, regroup, and figure out how we want to move forward.”

Read more at the Verge here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan

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